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Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (the Act) makes provision for a new statutory framework for supporting children and young people with additional learning needs. This replaced the previous legislation surrounding special educational needs and the assessment of children and young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in post-16 education and training.

A new statutory plan, called an ‘individual development plan’ is introduced to replace the previous statutory and non-statutory education plans for children and young people who come under the Act. Children and young people, and their parents, are given a right of appeal in connection with this new statutory plan to the newly named Education Tribunal for Wales (which replaced the previous Special Educational Needs Tribunal for Wales).

Alongside the Act there is a code of practice on additional learning needs, which contains further requirements for bodies and guidance on how they are to exercise their functions, including how assessments and decisions about provision are to be conducted. 

The Act also makes specific provision for particular categories of children, such as looked after children and children or young people who are detained, and details how persons enrolled as students at a further education institution and pupils and students who are in the area of a local authority in England but registered at a maintained school in Wales or enrolled as students at a further education institution in Wales, are to be treated.

There are also provisions relating to the requirement to notify or inform a child of a matter or to give a copy of a document to a child, and the treatment of children who lack capacity.

The Senedd produced an Act Summary, which provides a further useful overview, and the Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force

Sections 1, 97, 98, 99, 100 and 101 came into force on 25 January 2018, which was the day after the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 100(1). Paragraph 5 of Schedule 1 came into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 100(2). The remaining provisions of this Act come into force on a day appointed by the Welsh Ministers in an order made by statutory instrument, in accordance with section 100(3). The following orders have been made:

Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

TitleCitation number (Statutory Instruments only)Made dateComing into force dateSupporting documents
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (Supplementary Provisions) Regulations 20192019 No. 794 (W. 148)     3 April 2019   

10 April 
2019

Regulation 3 comes into force on the day that 
section 91 of the Act comes into force.  

Explanatory Memorandum
The Education Tribunal for Wales Regulations 20212021 No. 406 (W. 132)   24 March 2021
 
1 September 2021  Explanatory Memorandum
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2021
2021 No. 861 (W. 200)  
15 July 20211 September 2021Explanatory Memorandum
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (Consequential Amendments) (No. 2) Regulations 20212021 No. 993 (W. 213)10 August 202111 August 2021Explanatory Memorandum - unavailable
The Additional Learning Needs 
Code for Wales 2021
  1 September 2021Explanatory Memorandum
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (Consequential Amendments) (No. 3) Regulations 20212021 No 1457 (W. 373)16 December 202117 December 2021 Explanatory Memorandum
The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 20222022 No.913 (W. 199)22 August 2022 23 August 2022   Explanatory Memorandum

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:

The Bill was introduced on 12 December 2016 by Alun Davies MS, who was Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language at the time.

More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd’s website, including a record of the passage of the Bill through Senedd and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government (as amended at Stage 3).

The Act received Royal Assent on 24 January 2018.

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Last updated
27 November 2023